York restaurant to close – after hospitality chain goes into administration

Inside Café Rouge in York. Photograph: caferouge.com
2 Jul 2020 @ 7.17 pm
| Business

A York restaurant has been named on a list of 91 eateries set to close after a hospitality chain fell into administration.

Casual Dining Group – the owner of Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas – has said it plans to cut 1,909 jobs after calling in administrators.

The company said it would close 91 of its 250 restaurants, but has saved others for now.

It still leaves around 4,050 workers at the company’s sites across the UK.

Among the 91 set to close is Café Rouge on High Petergate.

York’s Bella Italia, also on High Petergate, and Las Iguanas, on Back Swinegate, have not been included in the list for closure.

‘Extreme operating environment’

The Casual Dining Group board said that entering administration was in the best interest of stakeholders during the “extreme operating environment” it is having to trade through.

It is looking for a new owner, but said that the administration would allow it to end negotiations with landlords, a “critical step” before finding a buyer.

Chief executive James Spragg said: “After reviewing all our options with advisers, it became clear that we needed to take this action in order to protect the business and secure the best possible future for Casual Dining Group as we look to conclude a potential sale.

“We are acutely aware of our duty to all employees and recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for them. Working alongside the administrators we will do everything we can to support them through this process with a view to preserving as much employment as we are able to.”

Bosses said that all the offers they have received from potential buyers involved reducing the number of restaurants it runs. The administrators therefore decided to close the sites permanently.

The list of closures include 35 Bella Italia, three Belgo, 32 Cafe Rouge, and 11 Las Iguanas.